Making the most of outdoor play, rain or shine!

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We experience all four seasons here and sometimes they don’t line up with our agenda. But that doesn’t mean we can’t make the most of our outdoor space!

I can’t begin to tell you all the times we’ve spent preparing the outdoor classroom and play yard and the weather ends up not cooperating. On top of that, sometimes we will have days on end of nothing but rain! I don’t know about you, but after a few days of zero outdoor play my students start to lose their marbles…and so do I!

The Day We Decided to Go for it

This situation happened recently for us. The forecast was predicting rain for at least a week and the predictions were turning into a reality. Yikes! On the third straight day of rain, I looked at Deborah and said, “I can’t spend another afternoon inside and neither can my students, we WILL go outside today!” Thankfully, she agreed!

What we Did to Prepare

We had already had the outdoor classroom space set up as a backup plan, just in the chance we had to retreat from the rain. We layered on our hoods, rain jackets, and boots. It had been raining for a couple days already so the ground was a little soft!

We opened and handed out all the umbrellas that we could. We made sure there were a few towels on hand for any muddy boots. Once everyone was ready, we headed on out the door!

What Ended up Happening

When we first dismissed for outdoor play, there was a light drizzle. The biggest thing I noticed was how little the rain bothered my students. They were perfectly content! A handful of students stomped in puddles on the driveway, some decided they wanted to go to the outdoor classroom, and the rest played as they normally would in our mulched area. They dug for worms, just like they do every day.

By the end of it all, everyone was soaked. There wasn’t much that was different about this outdoor play. However, it was probably one of the best outdoor play experiences we have had this school year.

Things to Consider

  • Make sure you have extra towels on hand for when you bring your students back inside, they will need a place to ditch their wet boots.
  • Invest in a good set of umbrellas, even if some students don’t want to use them.
  • Keep an open mind going into the experience, you never know what amazing things could happen!

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Deborah J Stewart

Deborah J Stewart

Every time I think I know everything I need to know about teaching young children, God says, "Hold on a minute!" and gives me a new challenge.

Let me tell ya...

With each new challenge that you overcome, you will find yourself better equipped and more passionate about teaching young children.

God didn't call wimps to lead, teach, or care for His children. Nope, he has high expectations, so get ready. You will have to give your very best but after teaching for over 30 years, I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.

Whenever your calling feels hard, just remember, 'He who began a good work in you (and in the children you serve) will be faithful to complete it.'

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